Apple Lightning cables have an authentication chip inside

If you've always relied on places like Monoprice to deliver your super-cheap Apple accessories like cables and adapters, it might be a little trickier to use those accessories if you upgraded to an iPhone 5. It's said that Apple's new Lightning connector has some sort of authentication chip inside that prevents third-party Lightning cables from working.

So essentially, anything that isn't an official Apple accessory will simply be ignored whenever you plug it into the iPhone 5. We can only guess the reason behind this is so Apple can put a lockdown on cheaper third-party accessories that they compete with. So instead if them losing out on a sale for a new Lightning cable, they're forcing you to buy one of theirs for an insane amount of money.

Then again, the reason could also be all about quality control. If Apple's own Lightning connector is, in fact, better quality than cheaper third-party cables, Apple may only want their higher quality components to interact with the iPhone 5, thus citing a "better user experience" as a viable argument.

Hopefully, third-party cable manufacturers can find a workaround so that we all can go back to Monoprice and start paying reasonable prices for our cables again. We're not sure exactly what kind of workaround would be needed — possibly cracking the authentication chip code or even jailbreaking the iPhone 5 (although the issue could be completely hardware-related on the iPhone end). We'll have to wait and see.

[via Apple Insider]